A giant sinkhole in Upcountry Maui has stranded some families in Haiku.
What used to be the center of Puu Way is now 20 feet below ground level. A 50-foot cliff has cut off access to two residences, with a third residence located just off the sinkhole.
Three properties with three families are virtually cut off from the outside world as the instability of the ground threatens to get even bigger.
“We’re okay. We just don’t have cars and can’t drive out,” said stranded resident Clarissa Hempal. “(We’re a) family of seven. Twin babies, 11 months, and a 7-year-old.”
“I’m retired. I can hold out another 30 years,” said stranded resident Robert Lane.
The county responded right away when the road failed.
The county’s Public Works director David Goode issued a statement: “We plan to fix it as soon as possible and secure some type of access, walking at a minimum, first.”
On Friday, resident Jen Kryska parked her car directly over the sinkhole area. Fortunately, she moved it minutes before, though unfortunately to the wrong side.
The county is planning to lay gravel at the dead end to connect it to Hoonalu subdivision, which does have an exit road.
In typical Maui fashion, residents are grateful for what didn’t happen and content to wait longer for life to return to normal.